The Max Design web standards checklist offers a nice, concise way of checking the overall quality of a website, at least from an architectural point of view. The key concepts embodied in the list are adherence to standards and use of best practices. I wrote up some thoughts about embracing best practice a couple of months ago in an attempt to extend the conversation to cover more than just standards, and whether or not the author of the checklist read my post the list certainly embodies that idea.
I’ve recently begun to think of standards as a form of conservation for the web: by using them effectively, web authors can contribute to the health of the web as a whole. The web has always been greater than the sum of its parts, and well built pages make better web citizens and go on to reap the benefits.